Kidney Bean Recipes:
Zesty Kidney Beans

Until I found a couple of good kidney bean recipes, I thought that these beans were good for nothing except chili.

I was wrong!

zesty kidney beans

This delicious vegetarian entrée has a wonderful flavor - and it's nothing like chili!

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • olive oil
    • garlic
    • salt
    • ground cumin
    • canned tomato paste
    • canned kidney beans

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • onions
    • orange juice
    • bottled lime juice

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • a lime
  • an orange

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a large saucepan or deep skillet
    • a cutting board and sharp knife
    • a stirring spoon or spatula
    • measuring cups and spoons
    • a can opener

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a lemon zester or microplane rasp (if not, use a grater)
    • a garlic press (if not, mince the garlic)

    The recipe

    1 Tbsp/15 mL olive oil

    2 cups/500 mL minced onion

    1 clove garlic, pressed

    1 tsp/5 mL salt

    1 1/2 tsp/7 mL ground cumin

    1 1/2 cups/375 mL orange juice

    1/4 cup/60 mL lime juice

    2 Tbsp/30 mL tomato paste

    4 cans (each 19 oz/540 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

    1/2 tsp/2 mL grated lime zest

    1/2 tsp/2 mL grated orange zest

    more lime zest and orange zest for topping

    In a large saucepan or deep skillet, heat the oil.

    Add the onion.

    Sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

    Add the garlic, salt and cumin.

    Reduce the heat and sauté for another 5 minutes.

    Add the orange juice, lime juice and tomato paste.

    Stir until well mixed.

    Cook over very low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Add the beans, the lime zest and the orange zest.

    Stir gently.

    Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.

    Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Serve hot.

    Sprinkle each serving with a bit more lime and orange zest.


    • You can use freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice instead of bottled. (I'm always in a rush when I make this, so I always use bottled juice!)

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Try using an orange juice blend in place of the orange juice. How about an orange-pineapple mix? (Look for 100% juice blends, not "juice cocktails" which are full of unnecessary sugar.

    • Try using lemon juice in place of the lime juice.

    • Experiment with different spices.

    • Spice this dish up by adding some cayenne pepper, or your favorite hot sauce. Or add some diced hot peppers with the onions.


    • If you don't have a lemon zester, you can use a regular grater. Be sure to use the smallest holes on the grater.

    • When grating (or zesting) a lemon or lime, be sure to get only the yellow - not the white underneath. The white bit can be quite bitter.

    • Grate all of the orange and lime peel. If you don't use it all, wrap the extra in plastic wrap and freeze it for next time.

    • To make this dish (or any kidney bean recipes) even more economical, soak and cook your own dried beans. You'll need about 8 cups/2 L cooked beans for this recipe.

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this dish with

    • rice

    • corn

    I don't yet have any more kidney bean recipes, but you may also like these other bean recipes:

I Love SBI!